...the fuck?

DepraviA is a very atmospheric, guro-centered action platformer focused on rape, gruesome death, and gruesome rape while being killed.

Created by developer Blue Going Mad DiodeDepraviA sets you off with a very familiar premise: the forces of Hell have invaded Earth, and as an Angel, agent of goodness and justice, it is your task to stop them. What makes the game excel, however, is the way this story is represented via the art and atmosphere. If you’ve played such titles as Diablo 1 and its sequel, the brutal, gritty atmosphere of DepraviA is instantly familiar in spite of the anime art style, and that comparison is possibly the highest compliment I can pay the game, to the point where I actually wonder whether to leave it this early in the article.

See, an important part of good ryona/guro games is the atmosphere. I mean, the atmosphere is important for pretty much every game, but if you’re into this sort of fetish it becomes rather paramount. Death and blood and rape don’t just show up out of nowhere, they demand at least some context. Fortunately, DepraviA delivers atmosphere in spades. It’s evident from the loading screen with its reds and blacks and background music that calls you subhuman, but then as you start up the game and assume control of the Seraph Angelica, you’re immediately struck by the attention to detail.

The game goes all-out as far as its 2D graphics and engine will let it go, and the immediate feeling seconds in is that the demons you’re fighting aren’t just regular bad guys; they’re pure evil. You’re surrounded by fire and corpses of women, many of them angels, who were beaten, raped, mutilated, and then executed, and as you progress through the game you’ll land on all sorts of details that buy into this time. Spider enemies? You’ll see girls hanging from every flat surface, cocooned or with their guts sucked out. Flying over the rooftops of burning houses? You’ll catch glimpses of the orgy of rape and murder going on inside through the windows. This sort of stark, brutal atmosphere that’s so hard to “get” with 3D and that the old isometric 2D and 2.5D graphics excelled at is in full display at all times in DepraviA, making the game pornographic in more ways than one – a true feast for the eyes.

Don’t worry though, the sex is just as good as the murder, and often comes right alongside it. The game is difficult enough that you’re guaranteed to die at least a couple of times, and when you do, you’ll be treated to a spectacle. In the very best case scenario, Angelica will be held down and brutally raped. In the worst case scenario, she’ll still get raped, but also get torn to shreds in a spray of blood and guts, or get impaled on a stake, or lose all her limbs, or get pancaked under a pillar trap. What’s better, on top of these scenes, you also get a different CG after the fact depending on what you die to, so porn content is definitely not lacking.

This attention to detail reflects on other aspects of the game, of course. Gameplay-wise, DepraviA is actually a very solid platformer. As Angelica, you’ll be able to take on a variety of very dangerous enemies using multiple weapons, and interact with obstacle-filled worlds, not just through jumping, but also through flight (you’re an angel, remember?) that’s dependent on a stamina bar, which creates a ton of cute dynamics involving jumping, flying, then negotiating a rough landing of multiple small jumps and dashes to regain the momentum necessary to fly again. Combat is pretty lethal – enemies go down quickly, but Angelica can take a max of three hits before she gets gored. Fortunately, you have access to a “chaos transformation”, which drains a secondary “chaos orb” bar, allowing you to briefly access an invincibility mode (though this won’t save you from pits and such, just damage) and a sexy black outfit. Since chaos orbs are so very limited, managing how much damage you take so you’re not forced to transform too often becomes crucial.

If there’s a knock on DepraviA’s gameplay, is that the game itself is short. There’s eight stages: one opening stage, and then seven thematic stages fashioned after each of the seven deadly sins, representing how deep you’re penetrating the bowels of hell. When discounting the extra time taken when you die and restart, however, each of these stages can be completed in fifteen minutes, twenty at the most, which makes for a very short game; about two and a half hours long in a flawless run and about six hours long in your average run with multiple deaths and a lot of messing around. This is understandable, considering the small budgets indie games work with and DepraviA’s relatively low asking price, but it’s still disappointing that you have all these neat concepts and this really cool atmosphere that you don’t really get to enjoy for very long.

On the technical side of things, DepraviA is actually pretty damn great for a Japanese indie game. It runs at 1280×800 resolution courtesy of the modern Clickteam Fusion engine it uses, also sporting full controller support out of the box. As you might have expected from my earlier gushing, DepraviA does not at all disappoint when it comes to sound effects or a fantastic, edgy soundtrack, even including full voice acting for Angelica with the usual Japanese VA quality we’ve grown spoiled on. Sadly, DepraviA is not translated, so all the dialogue text is in Japanese. Nonetheless, you should have no issue navigating the game itself.

Bottom line, DepraviA is a great guro/ryona game, with nice art, great atmosphere, a great soundtrack, and tight, smooth gameplay. If you’re even a casual fan of ryona, rape, or guro, I highly recommend it.

If you’d like to try it out, DepraviA is available on DLsite here.

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